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What Is the Purpose of Burning Sage?

Burning sage is thought by some to remove negative energies.
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  • Written By: Renee Booker
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2014
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Sage is one of many herbs that are regularly used in Native American ceremonies. Although sage can be ingested directly or made into a tea, its most common usage is by burning sage to expel negative energies. Sage may be purchased online in a bundle for the purpose of burning or at local Native American or New Age stores. It is not recommended that sage from a garden or bought from a local grocery store be burned as it is not the variety used for ceremonial purposes.

According to Native American beliefs, sage has various healing properties — the most important of which is to rid a person or place of negative energy. The herb's Latin name Salvia means savior, or to be saved. The use of sage can be noted as far back as the ancient Romans and Greeks who believed that sage imparted wisdom and knowledge, hence the phrase "wise old sage."

The practice of burning sage may be employed to rid a person, place, or thing of negative or harmful energies. Sage burns very hot, so most people use a ceramic container or abalone shell to contain it. In fact, most practitioners have a sacred container that is used specifically and solely for burning sage. A bundle may last through several burnings and is commonly stored in the container. A large feather is usually used in the ceremony as well.

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If the reason for burning sage is to rid a person of negative energy, it is usually accomplished by the afflicted person standing still while another person lights the sage and walks around him or her. Various incantations may be used during the ceremony. The person with the sage usually uses the feather to sweep the sage smoke around the other person from head to toe in an effort to rid the person of his or her negative energy or thoughts.

When a place is thought to be full of negativity, such as a person's home or business, burning sage is believed to chase away the negative energy. Typically, the front door will be opened, as well as all windows in the structure. The person holding the sage will then begin at the back of the house and sweep each room thoroughly with the sage smoke making sure to get all closets and corners where negative energy may hide. All the negative energy is then pushed, or swept, toward the front door where any negativity that did not escape out the windows will be expelled.

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candyquilt
Post 3

@anamur-- You might want to try white sage, I think that smells better and less strong.

Also, you don't need a lot. The bundles that they sell at the stores are too much in my opinion, especially if you have a small house. Separate the bundles and use just a little bit and make sure to open all windows before doing so.

Smoke removes negative energy by attaching to it and dragging it out of the home. Which means that if you don't have an open window for the smoke to leave, the energy will remain.

I think burning sage is also great for relaxation. I've noticed that when I'm stressed, anxious or worried, burning some sage makes me feel better and calmer.

serenesurface
Post 2

I tried clearing my house of negative energies after I moved in through sage burning. I have no idea if it worked. All I know is that the scent and smoke was very bothersome. I haven't done it since.

bear78
Post 1

Sage isn't only used by Native Americans. My mom's side is Muslim and they burn sage as well. I remember when I was young, my grandmother would burn sage every Friday. She would walk around the house with it to rid the house and us of negative energies and evil eyes.

Evil eye is something that Muslims and Middle Easterners believe in a lot. The belief is that when someone looks at you or your belongings with jealousy, they give you negative energy that can make you sick or make things go wrong in your life. And burning sage and other herbs regularly is said to get rid of this negative energy.

I believe it too. I've also started to burn sage at home. I like to do it after meditation and prayer, I think it's more helpful that way.

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